Texas Beaches

Jul 18th, 2009, 08:10 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Have you checked our Schlitterbahn? It's a neat water park in New Braunfels, not far from San Antonio. We have friends that live there; they have a kids' play area and rides that are fed by the river. I'd check ahead of time to see if there are things appropriate for a 2-year old. Gruene is a great little town not far from you; they also have tubing on the river; you'd have to check on the water levels, but I assume it's not running too fast and furious given the lack of rain.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 03:52 AM
  #22  
 
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siena, it's been years but at one time we frequented Medina and Canyon Lakes. Medina's water levels are greatly affected by drought as well as the dam that supplies water to the farms below (Castroville area).

http://www.edwardsaquifer.net/medina.html

You are surrounded by a lot of area lakes--Calavares and Braunig are two others off the top of my head. We don't have children so they may not be what you're looking for but at least it's something to go by.

Oh, hey, check out the wave pool at Sea World!
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 12:39 PM
  #23  
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'll look into Gruene and the other lakes mentioned. I think an area where we could wade would probably work better than tubing...at least for the next few years!
siena1 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 08:33 PM
  #24  
 
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siena, a friend of mine with two young boys was looking at the San Marcos River; she hasn't gone yet, so I can't give you any more details, but she's heard good things, so you might look into it. She said she thought it was fairly calm compared to some of the other rivers.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 08:34 PM
  #25  
 
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I agree. I would never take my two year old tubing. I think really age 10-12 and up. I do think you would have a blast at Schlitterbahn. You can call central reservations and get a condo whith river access and wade in the river without tubing. Or even better the Hyatt Hill Country (San Antonio) is great for kids. It certainly is not a gulf beach, but we have been 6-8 times over the past 5 years & every time I have taken the kids they don't even want to go to Seaworld which is across the street. They just want to stay at the resort. No lines, great place for all to nap when you get tired in the afternoon. If you can get the Regency Club it is nice. They serve a continetal breakfast and fruit and nuts and drinks you can take to the pool with you. Then the have snacks through out the day, happy hour food & the best is the deserts in the evening. we went Springbreak & even got a deal with breakfast for 4 included with the room. They are completely set up for families with the lazy river and a beach (for little ones... 2-6) with a fire pit in the evening & they make s'mores, a great lawn to just run play, they have a kid movie at night many times in the lawn and you can bring a blanket and they show some g rated movie at dusk, you can borrow one of their bicyles of all sizes and ride the area. My daughter even did Camp Hyatt once and loved it! I know it looks high end as far as prices, but trust me you will not regret it!
txbluesky is offline  
Jul 28th, 2009, 03:17 AM
  #26  
 
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While Texas beaches don't compare to Florida or the Carribean, I've always found them, at least Port Aransas, Galveston and Padre clean and fun even though the water is not blue. One can lay out on the beach, go swimming or eat great food and shop.
corli33 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2009, 08:47 AM
  #27  
 
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siena1,

I would suggest Hamilton Pool in Austin. It's a natural spring fed pool. Leave early in the morning from SA and get there by opening time (I think 10AM?). The beach area is great fun for a 2 year old, the water is crystal clear and calm, and the scenery is fantastic. Also, there are shady areas which would be good when y'all had too much sun.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Jul 28th, 2009, 08:49 AM
  #28  
 
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Also, TX beaches are a lot of fun. Plenty of sand, surf, and sun to be had by all, with great seafood to boot. Don't expect Florida and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

However, going to central TX lakes should definitely be high on your priority list.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Jul 28th, 2009, 07:00 PM
  #29  
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Thanks for all of the great suggestions! My list of things I want to do in Texas is growing!

We're hoping to head up to Austin sometime in the next few weeks, so I'll definitely keep Hamilton Pool in mind.
siena1 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2009, 04:17 AM
  #30  
 
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The central TX lakes suggestions are good, but with the drought many are down to record (or close to it) lows. So just check ahead of time. Places like Barton Springs and Hamilton Pool should be OK.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2009, 02:35 PM
  #31  
 
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dfr4848 is right. The lakes are so low, the experience may not be as enjoyable right now. Barton Springs and Hamilton Pool (I just went to both in the past couple of weeks) are both always filled up!
bkluvsNola is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 03:07 AM
  #32  
 
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Siena, the following link came to me in an email this morning--thought of you and your quest.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/fdh5b
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 09:57 AM
  #33  
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Thank you to everyone! We're tentively planning a trip to South Padre in November and hope to see Austin sometime this summer. We'll probably wait on the lakes until the water level is higher and our kiddo is a little older.

There are so many interesting places in TX, it's hard to know where to begin! We drove to Bandera yesterday, and we really enjoyed the beautiful drive from SA.
siena1 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:25 PM
  #34  
 
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Next time you head to Bandera, consider driving a tad further to Lost Maples State Park,

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/f...s/lost_maples/

In the fall you'll see "leaf reports" either on the news or in the local paper. Beautiful place for a hike, walk.
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 03:51 PM
  #35  
 
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For your SP island trip, try early November, as the water should still be swimmable, but by late November it won't be.

I've swam in Lake Travis in November, but only early, not late.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Aug 18th, 2009, 12:53 AM
  #36  
 
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For some reason, I haven't been that impressed with Port Aransas. It seems like most of the hotels are not actually on the beach, but instead "a short walk to the beach". I don't know why... We did find one place on the beach, but it was full of roaches. If anyone has any ideas on beachfront places to stay in Port A or any Texas beaches, I would love to see them here. Otherwise we are thinking of checking out Galveston and Crystal Beach.. anyone have comments? Personally I am leery of Padre since that was overrun by teenage partiers the last time I was there. Not too family friendly. Perhaps I stayed at the wrong place there as well...
pics4nic is offline  
Aug 18th, 2009, 01:41 AM
  #37  
 
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In Port A, I like Port Royal Ocean Resort - it's a great family location on the beach. Tripadvisor has mixed reviews, which include comments about roaches. I haven't experienced any issues with roaches although I think that there is a decent roach population along much of the Texas shoreline for some reason. I'm not sure that hotel selection is going to matter too much there. But where I have seen them, they haven't been overrunning a place either.

By "a short walk to the beach," sometimes this just means a walk across the protective sand dunes. Texas beaches are different than CA, FL, HI, etc. because of the protective sand dunes...You cannot build on the ocean side of the dunes.

Galveston is my least favorite beach...It's a great town, but the beach seems to be where a lot of trash dumped in the gulf lands on shore...covered in barnacles...I don't know what it is about barnacles that makes my skin crawl...Others love Galveston though....

I don't know anything about Crystal Beach.

By Padre, I presume that you mean South Padre. ("Padre" can refer to a very long section of the coast stretching from Corpus Christi (North Padre) all the way to South Padre.) If you went to South Padre during spring break, then you just went at the wrong time. It is overrun by Spring Breakers during the spring. At all other times that I've been, it's proven to be a great family destination. It is the most beautiful of all the Texas beaches in my opinion (still not comparable to FL, CA, HI, Mexico), but it's a very long drive. There are a lot of hotel options on South Padre. I'm afraid that there are roaches this far south, too.

Really, the Texas coast is so expansive, that if it is sand and water you are looking for, you can easily get away from any crowds by heading to a less crowded section of beach. In North Padre, you can drive on the beach (need to get a permit at a gas station or souvenir shop)...but if you go too far, it starts to get trashy and a little weird where you come across rusted out vehicles/small campers that seem to be serving as permanent homes on the beach.

You can drive on the beach in parts of South Padre, too...But it's easier to get stuck in the sand there.

Whichever location you decide, check for jellyfish/Portuguese Man-of-War conditions. I seem to always hit the beach when there are tons of Portuguese Man-of-War in the area...and I've been stung once.

Some beaches also have a lot of tar...I experienced that more in the remote beaches around South Padre...
mrkindallas is offline  
Aug 18th, 2009, 07:42 AM
  #38  
 
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Just to fill in on mrk's comments (with which I agree) - need to really check updates on places in/near Crystal Beach. That area was really devasted by Hurricane Ike and from everything I've read and heard has been very slow to recover. Otherwise, it's fairly remote and quiet (one road in or take the free ferry from Galveston), which may or may not appeal to you.
dfr4848 is offline  

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